As is the case in basketball recruiting, the prospects signing at the start of the spring period isn't always the end of recruiting and that proved true for the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday, as Detroit (Mich.) Pershing shooting guard Martez Walker pledged to the 'Horns.
Walker will be the fourth member of the class as head coach Rick Barnes and his staff attempt to replace departing point guard Myck Kabongo, transferring Sheldon McClellan, and possibly Julien Lewis, whose future with the program is still in doubt. The Michigan product joins three other guards in the class who have already signed -- Isaiah Taylor, Demarcus Croaker, and Kendal Yancy.
At 6'5 and 175 pounds, Walker is a wiry athlete with the best height of the group and will add even more size to what is already an unusually tall group of guards for the 'Horns. He's considered a three-star prospect by ESPN and held offers from Iowa State, Miami, Providence, Temple, and several mid-majors.
His commitment comes a week after he took an official visit and picked up his offer from Texas.
Martez Walker Highlights (via Reachlegendsaau)
One of the glaring weaknesses of last year's team was the inability to knock down long-range shots, which made it extremely difficult to overcome deficits and keep up with teams that were scoring points from beyond the arc. More so than any of the other members of the 2013 recruiting class, Walker will bring scoring touch from the perimeter with his pure left-handed stroke. His height is a major asset in getting his shot off, as he shoots a set shot that doesn't feature a lot of elevation.
As for the rest of his game, Walker has some ability off the bounce, mostly getting to the rim, where he shows a level of craftiness in using his body to help him score buckets, as he's more of an under-the-rim player, despite his size. Where Croaker or Yancy often finish such drives with emphatic dunks, Walker is more likely to lay the ball in --- if his highlights are any indication, there won't be a lot of unexpected throw-downs from him.
He also appears to be highly reliant on his left hand, with the great majority of his scoring coming on the left side of the court, a weakness that he will have to continue to work on as teams start to develop advanced scouting reports to combat his preferences.
Highlights are a difficult way to gauge a high school basketball player's defensive ability, so his prowess on that end of the court is somewhat in question, but ESPN does say that he is an effort defender ($) with the length to pressure the ball and affect passing lanes, both positive qualities. He may struggle to move laterally against more athletic players because foot speed and overall athleticism do not appear to be a strength.
At the start of his Texas career, he may mostly be a spot-up shooter until he develops the rest of his game. However, with the need for shooting, he should see some playing time early assuming that everyone stays around, more if there is more bad news in store for the 'Horns.
With some concerns about Demarcus Croaker taking care of business in the classroom to make it to Austin, Wilson helps provide some insurance against the worst-case scenarios of Croaker not qualifying and Lewis leaving the program. Or some combination thereof.
It's not a splash get for the 'Horns, but for those complaining about one-and-dones and the inability of last year's team to shoot, Walker's commitment and eventual signing should be heralded as a solid move in the right direction.